I was actually considering that to be the entirety of this article. Not out of laziness or anything. I just wanted people to know what it was like to be thoroughly confused.
And no, this article isn't a complain piece. For the most part. Although if most of the comments are complaints, I don't think anyone would argue.
For those of you who aren't familiar with the term, Business Insider describes ghosting as
...cutting off contact with [people] completely, ignoring their texts and their calls, and not providing an explanation for ending the relationship.
Fun note - This may be the only time that Business Insider cites Urban Dictionary as a source. Not familiar with Urban Dictionary? Just move on like this never happened. Sometimes you can't un-see Urban Dictionary.
The term originated relating to online dating apps, but recently it's been described to explain *certain* disappearances in the recruiting world. If you've been on LinkedIn at some point in the last two years, you *may* have seen posts of candidates complaining about recruiters, recruiters complaining about candidates, etc. Basically, people like to complain. And for good reason. Getting a job is stressful. Recruiting is stressful. Recruiting is stressful when everyone does what they are supposed to do, let alone when one party goes insane and screws it up for everyone. Like ghosting.
Here's how it normally goes down-
Boy meets Recruiter. Boy and Recruiter hit it off. Recruiter promises to take it to the next level. Boy meets the Recruiter's client. Boy calls Recruiter. Boy emails Recruiter. Boy eats 5 Snicker bars. Boy leaves sad voicemail for Recruiter at 1am (which is inaudible due to additional 1am Snickers). Boy apologizes to Recruiter via text for sad voicemail.
*8 Months Later*
Boy meets Recruiter's Brother. Boy and Recruiter's Brother hit it off.....
And the cycle continues.
But why. Why? WHY??? Why do recruiters ghost you?
I'll tell you.
It's because they don't care.
Right now, any good recruiter reading this is nodding their head in agreement.
Right now, any bad recruiter reading this is huffing and puffing and explaining that "recruiting is a business" and "this and that" and "clients" and basically any other ABC (Always Be Closing) bullshit that they've tricked themselves into believing.
They don't care.
Ok, let me qualify. They aren't bad people. I'm sure if you were on fire they would call someone or throw a blanket on you. But if they think can't place you in the next 5 seconds? FORGET IT. If they place no professional value on you, they don't care. They move on, looking for someone they can place NOW.
The bad recruiters couldn't care less about building relationships, knowing if you have a dog, or what you think is the best Ben & Jerry's flavor (ANSWER - Tonight Dough. This is NOT open to debate.)
There are several scenarios that involve ghosting -
Resume Submissions (Recruiter) - If you send a resume to a recruiter (particularly because they request it), and it doesn't match a job they are working on, they won't respond. They will keep moving on to a better fit. They did not forget to get back to you. Even if you feel that you are a fit for the role, the recruiter disagrees and does not feel like discussing it. VERDICT - GHOSTED
Resume Submissions (Client) - If the recruiter sends your resume to a client, and the client isn't interested, the recruiter will not respond to you. In this scenario, the recruiter may even have feedback as to WHY YOU ARE NOT A FIT. Doesn't matter. The recruiter is moving on. Why? Because they move onto finding more resumes for the client. Why? Because their agency places pressure on them to fill the role NOW. Also, because they are afraid in the .0002 seconds they aren't sending a resume, another recruiter will. VERDICT - GHOSTED
Recruiter Interviews - If a recruiter invites you into the office to meet and discuss a role, and then you never hear from them again? They don't think you are a fit for anything they are working on. I don't care what they say to your face. "You look great for this!" " This looks like a fit for your skills." You walk out of that meeting thinking "NAILED IT!" Nope. If you haven't heard back from them, there's a 50/50 chance they didn't even send the resume.
Client Interviews - If a recruiter sends you on a client interview and you never get feedback from the client, and the recruiter then ignores you.
The recruiter ghosts you because
A) They need to find another candidate (i.e. one that is NOT you) and really doesn't care about you.
B) The recruiter is too embarrassed to tell you they can't get feedback from the client.
A bad recruiter is an "order taker." They take orders from the client and move on...they aren't a true partner in the process. If a client passes on a candidate but doesn't give feedback, a bad recruiter will accept this and move on. Most bad recruiters actually fear questioning clients on almost anything. Why? The 1995 cinematic treasure Tommy Boy explains it best:
That's nice, you look like a Helen. Helen, we're both in sales. Let me tell you why I suck as a salesman. Let's say I go into a guy's office, let's say he's even remotely interested in buying something. Well then I get all excited. I'm like Jojo the idiot circus boy with a pretty new pet. Now the pet is my possible sale. Hello there pretty little pet, I love you. And then I stroke it, and I pet it, and I massage it. Hehe I love it, I love my little naughty pet, you're naughty! And then I take my naughty pet and I go [makes ripping noises as he tears apart the dinner roll] OOOOOOHHH! I killed it! I killed my sale! And that's when I blow it. That's when people like us have gotta forge ahead, Helen. Am I right?
What does that have to do with bad recruiters asking for feedback? They're afraid it will kill the sale. If a client doesn't offer feedback, odds are they are a bad client. And bad clients don't like to be questioned. Bad recruiters (usually) work with bad clients, and they are afraid of killing the sale. Also, I thought it was time to include a Tommy Boyreference in one of my articles. VERDICT - DOUBLE GHOSTED
Interviews *BONUS SCENARIO* - If a recruiter sends you on a client interview and you never get feedback from the recruiter, even though the client DID provide feedback. Why would a recruiter choose to not pass interview feedback onto a candidate? Seems downright cruel, right? Is it because the recruiter is
1) Evil? Possibly
2) Inept? Probably
3) A dick? Yes. But technically that's not the answer.
The answer is....scared. They're scared. They think you don't want the bad news. They don't think you can handle the honest feedback. In some cases they aren't ALLOWED to tell you the honest feedback *EDITOR'S NOTE* This does happen. It's not ok.But they typically are scared to tell you that the client just flat out doesn't like you and why.
They are scared to tell you that you don't answer interview questions correctly.
They are scared to tell you that your references actually didn't say nice things about you.
They are scared to tell you that the receptionist thought you were weird.
So they keep the feedback and never ever ever talk to you again. They couldn't possibly place someone like THAT. There's no way the candidate could take that feedback and, oh I don't know, CHANGE, right? That's what makes them bad recruiters. And dicks. VERDICT - SEMI-GHOSTED
For bad recruiters, recruiting is all about instant gratification. They're short-sighted. Not only do they have no interest in building a long-term relationship, they don't see the value in it. They can't POSSIBLY understand that you might be right for a DIFFERENT position next week, next month, or next year. They can't POSSIBLY understand that you might be a hiring manager in your next role, looking for a recruiter to work with. They can't POSSIBLY understand that you might actually know someone for another role they are working on...but they're happy to ask you anyway without actually building the relationship.
So you're wondering, "How do I keep from being ghosted?" You really can't. It's no different than trying to find a good recruiter. Referrals, LinkedIn recommendations, etc. Although if you HAVE been ghosted by a recruiter, I usually recommend contacting the appropriate Manager/Director for the office. I'm not saying that complaining/inquiring will change the agency culture. I'm not even saying they will be honest with you. But at the very least you will get closure. Unless they never get back to you...
If you have any questions about anything I discussed in the above article, looking for a job and/or working with a recruiter, just ask! Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for making last week's article "Guys, It's Not LinkedIn & Chill" a featured article on RecruitingBlogs AS WELL AS MY. MOST. READ. ARTICLE. EVER. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/guys-its-linkedin-chill-adam-karpiak
For more about me or my firm, please visit www.karpiakconsulting.com or www.linkedin.com/in/akarpiak I am always looking to network with good professionals that share my values in recruiting, so shoot me an invite if you agree with me!
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